Merry Christmas Timothy
Looking at the schedule, I’ve noticed that none of us are scheduled to write a post on Christmas day. This is a good thing for us, and it’s probably a good thing for all of you, too, but it does force me to write any Christmas-themed posts ahead of time.
This post is a gift I promised to Tim last time I saw him a whole four days ago. This is a life plan that he can follow if all his other plans fall through. Yes, this is quite a valuable Christmas present I’m giving him. And because I’m such a nice guy, you can all see the present, too.
Age 19 (now): You grow bored with your job at Meijer and irritated with boss. In a fit of pique you murder a higher-up hoping that it somehow will get you a promotion. You leave the body lying in a pool of blood next to the tomatoes and sneak away furtively. Unfortunately, you did not notice the twenty-five customers standing around and watching your actions in horror. Spend the rest of your life in prison.
Wait. No. Don’t do that. Let’s try this again.
Age 19 (now): Quietly rejoice as you go to work every day (or night) struggling to best please your superiors and customers, keeping in mind the goal of soon returning to Moody.
There. We’re already off to a better start.
Age 20: While working at Meijer early one delirious morning run into a fabulous lady and fall in love with her. Later that week, you realize that the lady with whom you were so taken was a mannequin for some reason topped with a pumpkin head. Heartbroken, you quit your job not knowing that your bank account is exactly $400 short of the amount necessary to return to Moody in the Fall.
In a desperate attempt to somehow earn the required money, you go to an amateur night at a somewhat local comedy club. You are booed off the stage. Before you resume your melodramatic tears at your ever-lessening prospects of someday returning to Moody, a gentleman taps you on the shoulder. He gives you $1000 on the understanding that you will never try your hand at comedy again. You keep that promise for a while.
That summer you work at Lake Ann once again, and even though your evil twin, Adam, isn’t there, you still have one of the most interesting summers of your life. It’s a summer that actually makes Jon Coleman’s infamous excuse about blobbing after curfew come true. Unfortunately, the parties making that prediction come true are all campers.
In the fall you return to Moody, and everything in life is good.
Ages 20-23: At Moody. You know more about the adventures you’ll have during this time than I do.
Age 23: You graduate. Hurray! And your GPA is even above 2.0, and you didn’t make anybody hate you in the process. Congratulations! You decide to spend one last summer at Lake Ann, and your buddy Adam B., who also just graduated, decides to join you. One vivid memory from this summer is a Walmart run where the two of you somehow end up in a Walmart in the upper peninsula where only a strange pidgin English is spoken and the only items sold in the sports section are varieties of guns.
Age 23-26: You write your first book, taking a job as a youth pastor at a church in Nevada to give you a salary while doing so. You become quite unbearable at parties, constantly referencing your soon to be finished Magnum Opus.
Age 27: The book is rejected by every publisher and agent to whom you send it. The church you were working at closes because of a split in the membership over the color the ceiling in the nursery should be painted, and you are forced to move back home.
Age 29: You have written several short stories that were successfully published in anthologies and are about ready to try writing a full-scale novel once again. You have moved out of your parents home and are taking odd jobs. These include but are not limited to: wearing those cheesy costumes to advertise sales, working as a sandwich tester, and making friendship bracelets to sell as “genuine African craftsmanship.”
You receive a call halfway through the year from Adam B. He wants you to join him on a six month business trip to Australia. Apparently, he’s some sort of bigwig now. You, of course, jump at the chance. The trip is something of a disappointment as Adam has become a bit of a workaholic and between the two of you, you only managed to receive five injuries from exotic animals, and all of them were minor injuries at that.
The trip was a success, however, in that it renewed your friendship with Adam and gave you inspiration to start your book. So when you move back to the United States, you move into an apartment with Adam and immediately start writing.
Age 31: Your first novel sells to huge critical acclaim, but as far as sales go, it’s a disaster. Because of this, you are unable to get an advance on your next book. Grumbling, you set to work anyways. This one is a fictional autobiography, though it is only marginally stranger than your actual life.
Age 35: You and Adam experience simultaneous and early midlife crises. You both move out of the apartment you were still sharing. You move into a house and begin frantically looking for a woman to date and marry. Adam begins hoboing across the USA. You don’t hear from him for many years.
Age 37: You get hitched much to the delight of your mother, who by now was somewhat worried about the situation although she would never admit it.
Age 38: Your wife is quite the singer. Somehow, she convinces you to go spend a few months in some big city and try out for American Idol. The judges have poor taste, and she doesn’t make the cut. Somehow, though, you do. You make it into the final ten before being cut, but this doesn’t matter. At this point, there are a multitude of record labels eager to sign you.
Age 39: You immediately go on tour with a makeshift band consisting of you and your wife singing, your brother playing his flute thing, and some homeless dude for whom you felt sorry playing drums. Every concert sells out.
Age 40: Still on tour. Somewhere in the middle of Arkansas you see a familiar face in the crowd. It’s Adam B. He’s wearing jeans with more holes in them than mosquito netting, a lumber-jack shirt, and a beard that stretches to his rather protruding belly button, but you still recognize him. Needless to say, he immediately joins the band.
And that’s as far as I’m willing to plan for you, Tim. Have a nice life and a merry Christmas.